Skip to main content

Full text of "NightRider"

See other formats

one, and goen to North Arkansas.   Them days^ hit was air
man's country."

" Oklahoma," the nephew had replied, " they say a man kin
still go to Oklahoma."

"I'll lay the good ground's all took," Willie Proudfit

"Or somewhere," the nephew said, "and git me a job.
Leave off. a-breaken my back in the field."

"Maybe I'll be goen to Oklahoma." Then, after a little
silence, Willie Proudfit added, " I ain't a old man yit."

And Mr. Munn remembered how Doctor MacDonald,
standing in his cell that day, had said that he was going to
clear out and go West. Where the country didn't stink like
the jail did. And when the news came that the trial was over,
and that Doctor MacDonald was acquitted, he remembered
it again, exactly how Doctor MacDonald had stood that day
in the cell, speaking the words. Suddenly, while Willie
Proudfit stood there before him saying, " The doc, he's a free
man," a sense of desolation and betrayal overwhelmed Mr,
Munn. Doctor MacDonald would go away now, he and
Cordelia. Out West. And leave him here, lost. He fought
the feeling down. "That's fine, that's fine!" he said to Willie
Proudfit, through lips that felt stiff and cold like tallow.

But only for that moment, for when he lay up by the spring
that afternoon, he again felt the same resentment and betrayal
when he thought that Doctor MacDonald would go away.
He seemed to see, as in the clarity of a vision, Doctor Mac-
Donald standing, with Cordelia at his side—with her hand
resting lightly on his arm in that way she had—Doctor Mac-
Donald standing there, showing his teeth in that grin that
seemed to come from his secret and unsharable knowledge,
and behind him, spread out like a picture, a sunlit plain, or
the colours of desert and mountains, or—for the picture
changed even as Mr. Munn tried to fix it—the blue waters of
the Pacific. Then it was gone. He told himself that Doctor
MacDonald would stay here until things settled down. Doctor
MacDonald wasn't the man to go off when his friend was in